Thursday, May 21, 2009


Pittsburgh is a very clean city. It does not have the steel mills like you would think. Years ago, especially during WWI they produced more steel than Germany and Japan combined. The air was bad, the buildings all had black soot and many people died of bad lung diesases....but today there are A LOT of trees, the air is good and it is quite a charming place. This is the city line from across the river.
With 100's of bridges....yes, 496 bridges as Pittsburgh is surrounded by three rivers. The Allegheny, the Mononagahela and the Ohio. It is where the French and Indian war was fought....(just thought you might like to know.)
Yes, this is our hotel....the William Penn, Omni Hotel....the Omni Corp. now owns it. It was built in the early 1900's. It was one of the first to have private baths and toilets in each room....VERY LUSH! The ceilings and columns are all carved or plaster. This first picture is the main lobby....when you walk in you feel like you entered a castle!
This ceiling was in the mezzanine and is all carved wood....very impressive...too bad the chandelier didn't turn out better, it was TO DIE FOR BEAUTIFUL! Just like you would see in a fairy tale movie...Phantom of the Opera kind of beautiful.
These are the carved arches in the main lobby. I just LOVE the attention to detail work. That kind of craftsmanship has always impressed me!
More of the lobby!
These next photos are from the 17th floor, looking out one window onto the hotel walls....this kind of plaster work isn't done anymore. These people were real artisans!
Looking out the same window, up higher on the building.
More from the window......the reason we were on the 17th floor is because the Grand Ballroom was there. We went to have a look....IT WAS LIKE YOU WOULD IMAGINE....GRAND and beautiful, all kinds of carvings, a balcony that went all the way around; an orchestra stand at the one end of the balcony.....They were setting up for a high school prom that night. The prom committee works for 4 years on fund raisers to have this Senior Prom at the Omni William Penn. It was AMAZING the setting of the tables, the centerpieces.....two knives, three forks, and two spoons at every setting...the butter on the bread plates were from a mold of the William Penn coat of arms.......pretty impressive for a Senior Prom...............RAMBELING....sorry...but I was pretty impressed!
Then the next night there was another prom............and the next day, Sunday in that same ballroom was a College graduation.................a VERY busy hotel, and not that expensive for rooms....if you split the cost! Our last day there, we had lemonade in the lobby while waiting for our taxi....$3.00 per glass in crystal goblets..........but worth every penny.....(we are not lemonade was the drink of choice.) Boy did we feel like we had lived the week in the lap of luxury! Oh, and of course there were many bell boys (men) dressed in their white tunics etc...very Hollywood!
Now perhaps many of you stay in hotels like that all the time when you travel....I have stayed in one like that before, but it wasn't old...this had CHARM----CHARM----CHARM oozing out at every corner.............OKAY, enough drooling already! Let's all get back to work! Thanks for listening, wish you all could be there!
One last photo of an old 1881 building...where have all the craftsman gone?